Friday, January 7, 2011

Oats and sunflower seed loaf

After the intensity of my last posting, here is some light relief in the form of a new recipe I developed for a loaf that turned out to be moist, of lovely texture and healthy, especially for those with high cholesterol.

Oat and Sunflower Seed Loaf

Baking bread is an intensly satisfying and grounding activity. It has (in my view) another element to it, and that is liberating one from the monopoly of bread providers in general, and taking a step towards independence. So many of the world's practices involve one's dependence and it is extremely difficult to break away from many of them. Apart from that, most commercial bread is full of additives which are blatantly unhealthy for one. Even the "healthiest" seed loaves are loaded with chemicals. Bread is such an important food for busy households, but is the source of daily toxins for the majority of growing children.

I prefer to buy food where there is no label to read. If it needs a label ( such as baked goods), I rather make my own. This bread's "label" only has a few ingredients, and they are all recognisable.


One and a half cups of (organic) oats soaked in 2 cups of boiling water until the mixture is cool
1 kg stone ground brown flour
Half a cup of (organic) sunflower seeds
1 sachet instant yeast
2 teaspoons sea salt ( I use Khoisan)
1 free range egg
One and a half cups of luke warm water.
2 tablespoons olive oil


Place the flour and sunflower seeds in a mixing bowl and add the salt and dried yeast. Mix thoroughly. Make a well in the centre, and add the cooled oats, egg, olive oil and water. Sometimes one needs a bit more water depending on the flour used, but only add a little at a time. Mix well into a nice dough. (I use a machine to do this and knead for 5 minutes). If you knead by hand, you will have to knead for quite a while until your dough has an even distribution of small bubbles in it, and is no longer sticky, but smooth and elastic. Allow the dough to rise for at least an hour in a warm place, or until it has risen to double its size.

Punch the dough down and knead it briefly. Divide it into two and shape it into loaves. You can either place the shaped loaves on a baking tray lined with baking paper or in baking pans which have been greased. I have two non stick baking tins and I merely flour the loaves very well, and don't need to grease the tins.

Allow the loaves to rise again until about double in size and bake in a very hot oven  200 deg c for about 30 - 35 minutes.

PS. I add the egg and olive oil because I find it improves the texture. The bread keeps very well for a week wrapped in a cloth. You can also keep it in the fridge. I freeze one loaf so that I don't have to bake every week. ENJOY!

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